The North Carolina class was primarily armed with three turrets, each containing three guns 16 inches in diameter. These guns could fire two explosive or armor-piercing rounds a minute, at enemies up to 22 miles away. That's an impressive distance for a single gun, but still not enough to match the increasing advantage of airplanes: the F4U Corsair, a standard Naval fighter used on aircraft carriers during the era, could fly more than 1,000 miles while carrying bombs. Despite many mighty guns, the battleship's limited power in the new age of carrier warfare relegated it to a support role. Large crew sizes—the North Carolina class regularly traveled with 2,339 people on board—were another reason for the battleship's eventual retirement.